New Zealand Set for More Rainfall as Residents Assess Weekend Damage

April 22, 2013 05:15 AM

Rain would help ease the most widespread drought in at least 30 years that curbed milk output.

New Zealand’s North Island may receive further rainfall today, helping ease the most widespread drought in at least 30 years that curbed milk output, as residents assess damage from a weekend of heavy showers.

Parts of the Bay of Plenty, on the northern coast, may get 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) to 50 millimeters of rain between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. local time, MetService said on its website today. The city of Tauranga received more than 200 millimeters over the weekend, John Corbett, media meteorologist at the forecaster, said by phone from Wellington.

Whole-milk powder climbed to a record last week as a drought declared across the entire North Island curbed milk production. Milk collection slumped 16.3 percent last month from a year earlier and declined 2.3 percent in February, Auckland- based Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy shipper, said this month. The country may receive near-normal rainfall through June, helping boost soil moisture, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

"A complex area of low pressure is currently crossing New Zealand," MetService said in a statement. "Humid, unstable air associated with this system is bringing bursts of heavy rain and thunderstorms to parts of the North Island and upper South Island."

Residents in parts of Tauranga left their homes because of heavy rain, while parts of Nelson, on the South Island, were also flooded, the New Zealand Herald reported today. 

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